Our collective most awaited movie is... (drumroll)
Synecdoche, New York
Directed by Charlie Kauffman (directorial debut for the acclaimed screenwriter of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation)
Starring we'll get to that in a second
Brought to You By US Distributor TBA
Expected Release Date Unknown but it's in post-production
Nathaniel: Synecdoche New York is about a theater director (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who builds a life size replica of New York City inside a warehouse for a production. Say what? There's also this -- his trouble with women. Those women are ...Dianne Wiest, Hope Davis, Lynn Cohen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams , Catherine Keener and Emily Watson. Whew. And if the cast isn't enticing enough they're all in service to what sounds like another original oddity from the mind of the auteur-like screenwriter Charlie Kauffman.
So many reasons to love it on paper already. What more is there to say? I hope you'll find something...
MaryAnn: This movie was partly shot in my neighborhood in the Bronx. Part of the whole Bronx renaissance thing I was talking about before. But that's not why I can't wait to see it. I can't wait because no one consistently blows my mind like Charlie Kaufman does. And I don't get my mind blown anywhere near often enough.
Glenn: I'm intrigued and confused by this movie. I don't tend to get all excited for trailers, but I am for this one purely so we can see what on Earth Kaufman is doing? "life size replica of New York City"... say what? It is Kaufman after all so I'm sure it's even far less literal than I imagine it to be. I still can't wrap my head around it, which, in turn, is what makes me anticipate this movie so much. Plus, when you throw in a cast like that - I hope Kaufman becomes the first director in too long to properly utilise Dianne Weist - you have all the ingredients for the #1 most anticipated movie of 2008 (albeit not mine, but the group as a collective).
Can I just say how overjoyed I am that we showed a bit of spunk and personlity in our list?! USA Today did their top 16 and it's just summer/Christmas tentpole flicks such as Indiana Jones, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Narnia 2, Star Trek, The X-Files and The Mummy. I'm much more comfortable with my auteurs in action, epics in motion and all the other films we've discussed.
And thank you Nathaniel for doing the hard yards in organising this shindig. It's always great to discuss movies with people who are as equally passionate about them as I. Even if we disagree.
Joe: I agree with Glenn: we ARE awesome.
While I can't entirely ignore the nagging worry that an unbridled Kaufman could get in his own way (collaboration can be a good thing, and Spike Jonze can't be that busy on Where The Wild Things Are, can he? Okay, maybe he can.) That's a heck of a collection of women for ol' Phil Hoffman. Are we sure he's up for all that cardio?
I'm talking around the subject, because what else can we do? Glenn's right, until we see a trailer (and maybe not even then), we can't possibly presume to know what Charlie's up to. But if anyone in Hollywood has earned my complete and utter trust, it's Charlie Kaufman. Bring it on, however bizarre.
Gabriel: I'm obviously a sucker for PSH and Kaufmann (as anyone who sat next to me at Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind knows, right Nathaniel?), and of course being tangentially about the theater, Synecdoche New York plays directly into my wheelhouse.
But there's something rather splendid about the bevy of talented women here...in fact, I think it's their presence that makes me so excited in the first place. It's been so long since a great female-ensemble film has rocked my world...Evening was such a disappointment last year, and 2007 often seemed particularly oriented to the stories of men (No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, The Assassination of Jesse James, etc.). With Synecdoche and The Women and Sex & The City, I'm hoping 2008 does female actresses proud.
Nathaniel: The massive female cast is giving me tingles in special places. But I can't say that I'm thrilled that it's Hoffman that all these amazing women are orbiting. Married to Marisa Tomei in Before the Devil... you'd think that would be the tops. But now he's romantically linked to Catherine Keener (ex-wife), Samantha Morton (lover) and Michelle Williams (wife) ...all in one film! He must have sold his soul to the devil.
But I'll take Kauffman and all these women in a heartbeat. I think Kauffman writes great female characters (think of Miranda Otto in Human Nature, Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, Keener & Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich, and Meryl Streep in Adaptation to cite several examples. I'm so excited for this. And you?
We can't wait. But we have to. In most cases we'll be waiting till the fall when Hollywood finally lets their meaty films out. Which film are you salivating for that we didn't mention? And what would've been your numero uno?
<-- Sister Aloysius prays for your wicked soul if you haven't been reading the "we can't wait" countdown #1 Synecdoche, New York / #2 Burn After Reading / #3 Australia / #4 Milk / #5 Blindness / # 6 Doubt / #7 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / #8 Revolutionary Road / #9 The Dark Knight / #10 Sex & The City: The Movie / #11 The Lovely Bones / #12 Wall-E / #13 Stop-Loss / #14 The Women / #15 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / Introduction / Orphans